Whether your baby doesn't quite sleep through the night or you want a little extra calm and quiet one day, sometimes a mobile or teddy bear just doesn't cut it. Dummies can be perfectly non-harmful soothers for your baby or newborn, and they'll also help to satisfy their sucking instinct.
It's not easy to choose the best dummy for your newborn or baby - who knows what their opinions are when they're that small? Plus, if your baby is breastfeeding, it's important to choose a type of dummy that is best suited to them.
Related: The best baby playpens 2022
In a hurry? Here are the best dummies for newborns and babies at a glance
Editor's pick: MAM Night Soothers
Best for older babies: Tommee Tippee Night Time Glow in the Dark Soothers
Best natural dummy: BiBS Colour Soother
Best for nose room: MAM Start Soothers 0-2 Months
Sucking is an instinct for all newborns and babies, and if you're breastfeeding then you'll want to find a dummy that has a similar texture to your nipples.
Sometimes babies can suffer from 'nipple confusion', as they struggle to switch from a dummy back to your nipple and vice-versa. If this is the case, try a breast pump to see how your baby adapts.
Whether your baby is breastfed or not, the perfect pacifier is out there for your little one, and we want to help you find it!
Orthodontic vs. regular dummies
Orthodontic dummies claim to have less impact on the development of your babies first teeth. They are flatter and shaped to encourage your little one to suck in the same way as when they're breastfeeding.
Most lactation consultants recommend a round cherry teat found in regular dummies. This is because it’s the same shape as a mother’s nipple, and will be less likely to cause nipple confusion in breastfed babies.
We'd recommend a regular dummy until the age of six months, and then a switch to orthodontic dummies after, as they are less likely to cause teeth problems later on.
Check out: our top picks for best dummies for newborns and babies
The best dummies for newborns and babies
1. MAM Night Soothers
Age: 0+ months - Perfect for newborns and breastfed babies
Material: Made from soft silicone
Benefits: It's great for healthy jaw and teeth development; it glows in the dark, making it easier for your little one to find at night-time. This dummy also comes with a travel case to sterilise the soother in the microwave.
Review: "Great dummies/pacifiers. My son won't go to sleep without them. Best part is that they are glow in the dark so when he has fallen asleep I don't need to turn lights on to find the dummy. I've had these for a month now and they still look new and very easy to clean. The case it comes in is handy too."
2. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, 0-3 Months
Age: 0-3 months, perfect for newborns
Material: Made of hospital-grade silicone
Benefits: One-piece construction (no choking hazards), dishwasher safe, BPA-free and latex-free silicone. Orthodontic design respects the natural development of baby's teeth and gums.
Review: "My little one loves these. It took her a bit to learn how to use them but once she had it she loved it. I love that it's one piece so it's easy to clean and I don't have to worry about a piece breaking and choking her like traditional pacifiers."
3. BiBS Colour Soother 2 Pack
Age: 0-6 months
Material: BPA free natural rubber
Benefits: 100% free from BPA, PVC and phthalates, a shield made of food-safe PP-plastic, the aesthetic design captures a look that's both timeless and elegant.
Review: "Highly recommend for newborns on the larger side. My baby breastfeeds so wanted something that wouldn't interfere with that. He also has rather a large mouth but didn't want to give a 6month size dummy. Really pleased with this as I'm not constantly putting it back in his mouth . Also love the colours!"
4. NUK Genius Soothers
Age: 0-6 months
Material: Made from a soft, flexible silicone
Benefits: A soft, flexible teat naturally shaped, this dummy is developed with dental health experts to simulate the feel of a mother's nipple during breastfeeding.
Review: "These dummies are perfect for newborns as they are super lightweight. Of all NUK dummies (and we own almost every design), these ones and the night-time ones are our favourites and we'll definitely buy them again."
5. Tommee Tippee Night Time Glow in the Dark Soothers, 6-18 Months (6 Pack)
Age: 6 - 18 months
Material: BPA-free silicone
Benefits: Underwater design with holes in the shield encourage improved airflow, teat shape on the soother is more like a bottle teat for a more familiar feeling for a baby.
Review: "Perfect. My toddler's favourite dummy and glow in the dark too. I make sure to leave the dummy in light for an hour or two before bed and it usually glows most of the night. Love the cute designs too."
6. Chicco Physio Soft Soother
Age: 3+ months - it's best for babies over three months
Benefits: It's super-soft, ventilation holes, ergonomic shape, mummy silicone teat (perfect for breastfed babies).
Review: "The most hygienic dummies I've ever seen! As they are made of only one piece, there are no crevices where mould could develop and dirt could get collected. They go well in the steriliser and don't discolour. Also, as they are ergonomic, they are better for the teeth. They were actually recommended by my dentist! Baby loves them! We have 6 at home!"
7. Tommee Tippee Ultra-Light Silicone Soother 0-6m (2 pack)
Age: 0-6 months
Material: 100% food-grade silicone
Benefits: Anti-static - keeps dust away, silky smooth, soft silicone gives this soother a skin-like feel and texture so it feels familiar in baby's mouth.
Review: "These dummies are amazing!! I bought one pack and have ended up coming back and buying two more. I tried my baby with a different brand dummy and he didn't take to it so tried him with this dummy and he loved it. It's a very unique design and the glow in the dark is brill for night-time as it saves you having to feel around for a dummy with a screaming baby. This really is a fantastic product."
8. MAM Start Soothers 0-2 Months
Age: 0-2 months
Benefits: SkinSoft silicone teat accepted by 94 per cent of babies, promotes healthy dental development, BPA free, comes with a travel case.
Review: "Very happy with these. My newborn loves them compared to any other dummy. This is the only brand that seem to give their nose enough room. Also has a nice shaped teat that is easy for him to suckle on. Would definitely recommend. I've just bought four more so we have some available all the time."
9. Tommee Tippee Breast-Like Dummy
Age: 0-6 months
Benefits: Material provides breast-like comfort for a natural soothing experience, glows in the dark, symmetrical orthodontic design which supports natural development of baby's mouth, teeth and gums.
Review: "Brilliant for breastfed babies. My 4 week old breastfed baby will only accept these dummies. Absolute life savers!"
All of these dummies have been hand-selected by What's The Best shopping experts. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching, so you can choose the best one for your child. Plus, we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in. Find out why you should trust us here.
How do you choose a newborn dummy?
Check the material - Dummies need to be made from latex, and be BPA & phthalate-free.
Taste and odour - Dummies should be taste-free and odourless.
Size and shape - Dummies should be sized and shaped for your baby's mouth.
Age range - Always check the advised age range before you purchase a dummy.
Obstructions - Ensure the dummy leaves your baby's nose free and unobstructed.
British Dental Health Foundation - It's best to choose a dummy approved by the British Dental Health Foundation to ensure you purchase a safe and certified product.
How to use a baby dummy safely:
Most experts advise starting using a dummy only after the baby is at least one month old and preferably getting them used to it when your baby is feeding well.
Don’t give a dummy dipped in sweet foods, like honey or fruit juice.
Try to use an orthodontic or flat dummy; some pieces of evidence show that they are better for tooth development.
Don’t force your baby to use a dummy; if they don't want it, let it be.
If you're breastfeeding, try not to use a newborn dummy until about six weeks; this gives your newborn time to settle into suckling on your nipples properly and to get your milk production at the right levels.
Can babies sleep with a dummy?
Yes - that's the short answer.
Always make sure not to tie the dummy to your baby with strings or ribbons which could get tangled around them, and never dip it in sugar or foods of any kind.
Should I give my baby a dummy?
Well, that's completely up to you. There are pros and cons to using a newborn dummy, but as with all aspects of parenting, choose what suits you and your baby best.
Pros to using a baby dummy:
Baby soothers do exactly that - they soothe a baby and provide comfort to newborns. The suckling impulse is strong and important for calming a baby, and a dummy can give that comfort.
They can provide some protection against SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Using a dummy to comfort a baby can give you a rest from constant rocking and cuddling your baby, if you need a break or do some jobs/chores.
A newborn dummy can soothe a baby off to sleep.
Cons to using a baby dummy:
They need sterilising regularly.
You need to check for damage and cracking regularly, and replace them if they have damage.
If your baby loses dummies often, dropping them out of the pram or leaving them at friends/family's houses, you will need to think about the cost of regularly replacing them.
Sophie Knight is the Editor of WhatsTheBest and Contributing Editor for Mother&Baby, Closer, Heat, Yours and Empire websites.
Subscribe to the What’s The Best Newsletter to keep up to date with more of the latest reviews and recommendations from Sophie and the rest of the What’s The Best team.